By Michael Snyder
If your family is really struggling right now, you are far from alone. I have been publishing The Economic Collapse Blog for more than eight years, and all throughout that time I have seen the middle class in America get smaller and smaller and smaller. It is almost as if we are all playing a really bizarre game of musical chairs and every month someone pulls a few more chairs from the game. Yes, there are some people that have gotten exceedingly wealthy over the past eight years, and most of that wealth is concentrated in places such as New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco. But meanwhile, most of the rest of the country has been steadily getting poorer. Just take a look at Detroit – at one time it had the highest per capita income in the entire nation and now it is a rotting, decaying war zone. Of course dozens of other formerly great manufacturing cities all over the nation have suffered a similar fate. Since 2001, we have lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good paying manufacturing jobs. Those good paying jobs have been replaced by lower paying “service jobs”, and you can’t support a middle class lifestyle on those types of jobs.
In order to have a thriving middle class, you need middle class jobs, and our country is in desperate need of more of those jobs. At this point most American families are living on the edge, and more are falling into poverty with each passing month. The following are 15 signs that the middle class in the United States is being systematically destroyed…
#1 78 million Americans are participating in the “gig economy” because full-time jobs just don’t pay enough to make ends meet these days.
#2 In 2011, the average home price was 3.56 times the average yearly salary in the United States. But by the time 2017 was finished, the average home price was 4.73 times the average yearly salary in the United States.
#3 In 1980, the average American worker’s debt was 1.96 times larger than his or her monthly salary. Today, that number has ballooned to 5.00.
#4 In the United States today, 66 percent of all jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour.
#5 102 million working age Americans do not have a job right now. That number is higher than it was at any point during the last recession.